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Retrospec - Retrogaming at its best
Slave to the machine
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Allan Bentham

Butane fuelled tube rider

Personal Website: http://www.btinternet.com/~Allan.Bentham/

One day, we were enjoying a quiet game of scrabble when we heard an enthusiastic cry of 'Geeeeerrrrronimoooooo' shortly before a friesien heffer crashed through the roof. "Odd" we thought. It wasn't wearing a parachute.

Some minutes later, Allan rocked up in his fancy Volvo convertible , driving straight through the wall, over the scrabble table (incredibly leaving all the tiles in place) and into the toilet. We found him several days later on Alpha Centauri (reached by the wormhole which leads to the TV room on Io, then turn right at the first undocumented obelisk) wanding around aimlessly humming the chorus of "Look at my Afro". Andy of course took a shine to him immediately - so here he is.

Allan has made a name for himself by attempting to surf the waves in the bathtub which lap at the porcelain for 3 hours after Jeff gets out of it (water displacement off a beer-belly dontchaknow). Depite several painful wipeouts, Allan persevered and is now quite good at it.

Allan is only the second person to survive being on the same scrabble team as Peter (he feigned death very convincingly shortly after Peter started shaking mixed herbs onto his head).

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John Blythe

The Info from infogrames

Personal Website: http://www.dreamcaster.f9.co.uk/

John joined us (amongst much 'oooh'ing and 'aaaah'ing I might add) as a way of unwinding when getting home from work at Infogrames UK where he does graphical work (mainly on the walls of the men's toilets ;), but occasionally for a small fee he'll venture into the realm of colouring books and small tiny poodles with Pink fur!. He's recently finished Chuckie Egg: The Next Batch (very nice it looks too).

Once, after consuming too many of Graham's sherbet fountains, John sneezed and started foaming at the nostrils. This at the time was thought to be Rabies and a course of painful injections ensued! Although better, John still finds the site of ordinary water, sick enducing, so sticks to large quantities of beer instead. 8)

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Jeff Braine

The one in Australia

Personal Website:

Jeff is 30, originally from the UK, and is now proudly a permanent resident of Australia. Guitarist in the RetroSpec and, Jeff likes to spend most of his time on stage doing impressions of his hero Kurt Cobain (except the bits that involve guns or hypodermic syringes).

Jeff lives alone in a displaced welsh cottage that has found itself in a field outside Brisbane. It is here that he likes to pursue his passion for painting his toenails various colours.

He works at Griffith University where he does something with Eunuchs.

At the moment, he's STILL working on a PC version of Sabre Wulf, honest.

After an unfortunate incident involving some sodium and a stick of celery, Jeff now keeps the Australian stereotype of an Englishman never washing alive and well as he explodes violently in water.

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Dan Condon-Jones

He'll have a 'P' please Bob

Personal Website:

Dan is probably the only person in the entire world who would even think of complaining about not being ridiculed on this page. In fact he joined RetroSpec just for the dubious honour.

Contrary to popular belief, the picture to the left of this text really IS a good likeness to Dan. In fact we have to keep him in a large tank connected to a vast multitude of cables (under the sink in the RetroSpec clubhouse kitchen). So concerned for his welfare are we, that Graham has been banned from keeping his axolotl in the kitchen, and Guy has been enlisted to feed him his tetrafin every evening.

Dan's main claim to fame (well, other than being a member of RetroSpec) is that he's the only green throbbing thing to have appeared on ITV's popular quiz 'Blockbusters'. During his reign as gold-run champion, Dan had a bit of a love affair with Bob Holness (allegedly - Bob neither confirms nor denies this - Legal Ed)

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Adam Dawes

The matrix-obsessed 3d whore

Personal Website: http://www.adamdawes.com/

Adam Dawes entered the clubhouse via the chimney one christmas, which rather upset Dan who was pretending to be Harry Potter with Floo powder at the time and suffered a nasty concussion and kept babbling about Madame Pomfrey for a fortnight. "Hurrah!" cried Adam, thrusting forth a pair of stockings in Graham's direction "Look what I have for all the good boys and girls". Graham ran off to his room to hide his little gingham number, whilst Adam hopped over to the nearest PC and booted up his goodies (much to John B's embarassment).

Turns out Adam's been working on a spiffingly smashtastic retrostylee game (stylee way! - stoned Ed) called Highway Pursuit. Well of course we welcomed him with open arms (except Graham who was busy trying to stop the socks from falling out of his bracups).

Adam brings to the team some much-needed seniority - being some 57 years older than the rest of us combined. He is a specialist chef in Luxembourgian cuisine, and spends his free time snorkeling around Kent (unless we misheard
him - Ed) (Wayhay! - Neil) (Gerroff me with them flippers! - Graham).

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Site Editor

Forum Administrator

Personal Website:

When we wish to hide behind a faceless, nameless person on the forums, this is who we use.

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Graham Goring

The prank caller

Personal Website: http://www.duketastrophy.demon.co.uk/

Graham is 23 and is one of the many fine graphics people here at RetroSpec. He enjoys a pint and can often be found, ancient Amstrad laptop in hand propping up the bar in his local 'The Slug and Lettuce'. Despite his obvious talents (see the background graphics in Klass of '99), Graham has a rare blood disease which means he cannot colour between the lines.

Due to a clerical error, Graham went through High School having to do PE in the girl's class. Showers were fun, but swimming got a bit uncomfortable as it got more and more difficult to find a swimsuit in his size. Drawing the line at wearing the pleated skirt for tennis, Graham finally went to complain to his Headmaster and inform him of the error. He received 200 lines and had to spend his next 10 lunchtimes scraping chewing gum off the bottom of desks.

Gender issues finally sorted out, Graham became a straight-A student and went on to attain a PhD in Applied Astrophysics by writing a thesis on the behaviour of a black hole when it enters the influence of a quasi-pulsar. Graham now phones people in the middle of the night and tries to sell them Prozac for a living.

Photo of Graham was stolen from Andrew Collier in an SAS-style raid by people who shall remain nameless. Andrew was found the following day wearing a hat which read 'M7 Maintenance Droid'. When asked for an explanation for this, he simply muttered 'stressed plasteel' before passing out. Rumours that Rich Jordan was seen waving a shiny new set of ram thrusters soon afterwards are unconfirmed.

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Peter Hanratty

The RetroSpec team's resident werewolf

Personal Website: http://www.stonewolfsoft.co.uk

Naturally, the one who's working on WulfRyder, Knight Lore II. The only member of the team who is able to eat one of Jeff's curries and actually enjoy it. Peter is the bassist in the RetroSpec band 'Attribute Clash and the Rubber Keys'

Peter has returned to Retrospec after a long absence and is once again teaching postmen the meaning of fear.

He's been programming since he was 6, but bares his fangs when anybody asks him how long ago that was.

In the times when he's not howling at the moon, coding or devouring virgins, Peter enjoys a bit of private philately and listening to Bing Crosby.

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Bill Harbison

3D Artist gone flat

Personal Website:

On now to Bill, the latest addition to the RetroSpec team. Bill was born during the year of the great Dorset Donut Debarcle and as such has strong feelings about the use of fish in dainty delicacies. Despite this, he has a passion for Mr Kipling's Salmon and Toffee Cream Slices
which leaves his desk smelling a little like Graham's underpants, but I digress.

Bill used to be a great coder - pulling sprite routines and recursive z-space ordering algorithms out of (careful - Ed) thin air (ha! -
Jeff) at a rate of knotts. Since that unfortunate incident with the Vic 20 and the girl's gym kit however, Bill's decided to concentrate on doing graphics for us - and aren't we a bunch of happy bunnies in springtime?

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Russell Hoy

Busy stalking Raffaele Cecco for kicks

Personal Website:

Born Wendy McGubbins, Russell's parents quickly changed his name after he developed a worrying habit of rolling around in piles of leaves before leaping out at people and shouting "Hoi! Hadawayyabastart!".

At the tender age of Forty three, Russell was adopted by a family of latin american Carpet Shampooers who taught him everything there is to know about floor-covering hygiene. Moving to Britain at the height of the Miner's Strike, Russell made a name for himself selling bacon sarnies on the picket lines, before falling foul of Maggie's Boys in Blue during a particularly heated game of snap in the local greasy spoon.

Despite his time in "The Big Hoose", Russell has developed into a well adjusted individual, with a talent for remaking games originally writ by the Cecco.

George Bernard Shaw once said "Two wrongs don't make a right but I believe two Wrights have just made an aeroplane", and that is as relevant to Russell today as it was one hundred years ago. Allegedly.

Russell currently lives on the Isle of Man with his pet SCSI cable.

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Richard Jordan

The sensible one

Personal Website: http://www.retroeric.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/

Ha! Who does he think he's kidding? Richard's responsible for Klass of '99, a revamp of the classic (klassic??) Skool Daze, and is also working on a rather groovy looking version of Jet Pac (not any more - Ed).

When he's not thinking of new flavours for fried potato snacks at Crisp Computing (sorry, couldn't resist) or coding, he spends his time romancing his girlfriend in their co-owned house made entirely of rhubarb leaves.

Rich is the drummer in the RetroSpec band, and has given Tero many lessons in playing air-drums effectively. Unfortunately the last lesson ended early when Tero got to close to Rich as he was demonstrating the use of a floor tom. Ouch, bet that hurt!

Rich is 29, does an ace impression of a constipated cow, and likes making people laugh - which is probably just as well.

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Peter Jovanovic

Most definitely not French

Personal Website:

On September 14th, late in the night, the clubhouse was in darkness. The only sound was the clicky-click-clicking on a keyboard.. The keyboard on Jeff's machine, but Jeff wasn't there programming SabreWulf PC. Oh no. Jeff was at some charity gig on stage with the band he started with Keith Moon, Phill Lynott and Kurt Cobain (it's a long story, but the gist is that they're not dead, just living in the Clubhouse toilet). So, you cry, who the hell is it? Somone intent on destroying the chances of SabreWulf ever seeing the light of day?

Nope. It was The Mystery Man himself, busy refining the flora and fauna of the jungle (well graphical images of it anyway). He only comes here at the dead of night - when all the clubhouse members are so hyped up on caffeine that they're running around naked outside pretending to be aeroplanes or Newcastle soccer players after a humiliating defeat.

This time though, he was not alone. Suddenly the lights were dramatically thrown on (okay so Rich lit a candle) and The Mystery Man (in Black lace I might add) found himself surrounded by RetroSpec team members dressed up as characters from Scooby Doo. (Allan looked especially menacing as Velma)

It was Spangly (Scooby) who did the final cheesy speech and John (Shaggy) who did the unmasking. And there he was. Revealed to all. Glistening like a freshly polished earwig, and groomed like a best-of-breed at crufts.

Gasps went round the room! Pierre realised that they were not directed at his face, but at the screen behind him. Yes, they'd all seen the new graphics for Sabre Wulf, and yay verily they all were as impressed as Logi Baird would have been if shown the latest Sony Trinitron.

So that's how Pierre came out of the closet as it were. Probed by careful questioning, the team learnt that Pierre wasn't French, liked smoking (from the ears usually, but sometimes from the nose) and enjoyed drawing. Hmm. Way to go guys.

Pierre is actually from Yugoslavia, and breeds rhino for a living. He lives in Devon in a kyack on the River Dart (usually moored opposite the Navel College in Dartmouth). He is mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records for having the world's longest pubic hair.

Last year, Oxford University Press published Pierre's paper on the enzyme in your navel that means all belly-button lint is purple.

Finally, Pierre shares Jeff's fanaticism about flip-flops and owns over 50 pairs, some of them incredibly rare.

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Tomaz Kac

He's not from Slovakia

Personal Website: http://www.worldofspectrum.org/tomcat

Not to be mistaken for Top Cat, Tomaz spends his days idling at the sea-side resort of Portorose, laughing at the hairy Italians trying to convert their Euros to Lira.

When not sunning it up, he spends a large amount of time browsing through seedy shops in the search for Yugoslavian Spectrum games.

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Arif Majothi

Some say he glows in the dark

Personal Website:

To every generation a slayer is born. One to protect the innocent and
defenseless against untold evil. She alone will stand against the rising
tide of darkness. Unfortunately, this time there was a stuff-up, and
the slayer powers were granted to a bloke named Arif.

Determined to put his slayer powers into action, Arif toured Manchester
breaking up bar fights and clobbering Everton fans. Sadly his thirst
for disrupting the plans of the unholy was interrupted by university
where he started being visited by a mysterious man in a leather coat.
Anxious to find out more about the mystery man, Arif altered his study
stream to one more befitting to a person receiving nocturnal lamentations
from brooding enigmatic males: hair and beauty studies.

During this course Arif learned the correct way to apply blush, the 3 rules
of eyeshadow colour selection and how to code in C++ thanks to class nerd
"Jello" (a nickname coined by her peers due to her fondness for writhing
naked in gallons of trifle with another girl). One night, the homme fatale
showed up and Arif followed incognito, indetectable and in stilletos. He
followed him into a small shed and found himself surrounded by fierce
axylottl lovers, scrabble players. The man in black removed his coat, looked
sternly at Arif and said in a menacing geordie voice "H'away buddy lad" and
other sterotypical utterences designed to strike fear into any self-respecting
mortal. "Here, have a mug of ovaltine and pull up a keyboard"

The rest, as they say is NOT history, but unfortunately was cut short due
to Sarah Michelle Geller quitting and Fox budget cuts.

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Andy Noble

Icon for pimps everywhere

Personal Website:

Back in the 70s, Andy was the first person to release a single in the UK based solely on his haircut. "Look at my Afro" entered the top 10 at number 4 in the charts on March 17th 1978 and remains a firm favourite in nightclubs across Luxembourg.

On the back of his pop stardom, Andy made numerous attempts to cash-in on his fame by releasing seven books of poetry (most notably "Fings wot I rote on the potty"), several works of art, and an album of duets with well-known art critic Sister Wendy. None were particularly successful outside Andy's group of fans (known in the press as Andettis).

However, luckily for us at RetroSpec, this did not detur Andy from persuing his artistic dream - to work on graphics for computer games - and thus he found RetroSpec, settled in and now delights and entertains us all whenever he comes to the clubhouse by being the only one to bring pizza (cleverly concealed in his afro).

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Ignacio Perez Gil

He is not. I repeat not, the man from Del Monte

Personal Website: http://retrospec.sgn.net/users/ignacio/index.html

Ignacio (AKA the Black Flittersnoop) is a pole-vaulter with an ironic sense of timing. Oh how we laughed as he once sailed clean over the washing line, into the back of a passing milkfloat, crumpling one of Mr Cream's finest yoghurty delights into a pulp (and inventing the world's first dairy-based diamond, fact fans).

A connoseur of all things donutty, Ignacio once spent a month in voluntary exile to consider the effect of cinnamon on the metabolic rate. When he returned he was a changed man and started breeding pigeons in Surry. It is at this stage that he took up coding - a device to while away the hours whilst waiting for Mr Speckles to return from Gaston 'Unpronounciblexxueteaux.

When he's not coding or pole-vaulting, Ignacio amuses himself by filling Rich's drawers with baked beans. USUALLY while Rich isnt wearing them (but we all remember *THAT* party - Ed)

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Marc Russel

Industry standard pixel dude

Personal Website: http://www.incognitogames.com/pixelart/

Codename: kRUZe

Having just watched 'Weird Science' for the first time, John and Graham decided to experiment with some copies of RetroGamer, an old Speccy and some crocodile clips.

Marc appeared in the bathroom shortly afterwards in a cloud of pink smoke (having just knocked over Graham's face powder).

He can plot pixels at a rate of 4,834,567,600 per second and only speaks in Z80 machine code.

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Matt Smith

You can't quite see his medals from here

Personal Website:

DFC, George Cross, Knight of the Queens Garter, Worshipful Master, Congressional Medal of Honour, Croix de Guerre, Hero of the Soviets People's Revolution, Freedom of Manchester, Food Technology First Class, Violinist of the Year 1986, Blue Peter Badge, MCSE

Matt is somewhat of an over achiever. This situation has come about after the pschychological effects of becoming an orphan after both his parents died during childbirth. Growing up with only his space hopper for a friend he became interested in Marxist thinking. In later years he went on to become involved in several cvil wars in Central America, becoming known to the revolutionaries as 'Tolva anaranjada del espacio del apocalypse', or 'Great warrior on a space hopper'.

Happily these days he has calmed down and been corrupted by money. Rather handily for writing Retro games he is proficient in Pascal and also can be found on Friday evenings showing off his skills in food technology and space hopper operatics.

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Neil Walker

The sad Mackem b*$*ard

Personal Website:

Neil is married (sorry girls), a software engineer (sorry Neil), 'incredibly hunky' (sorry boys), and has a passion for looking at pictures of programmers' wives (sorry bastard).

He is the proud owner of several small furry things, and isn't allowed to put pictures of the dead ones on his web page.

Neil once discovered beer, sex, music and drugs, but didn't realise you had to smoke some of them - anyway, he forgot where he put them which is probably just as well, otherwise he'd never have made a start on Underwurlde Mil(l)en(n)ium.

Oh, and he doesn't want to know about the cost of your phone bill. He's much more interested in how much you spend on stalking Terry Wogan. Yes, you. You know who you are... and you know Neil knows where you live. What's more Neil knows you know he knows. So ner ner.

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Andrew Zariffis

zaffman to his friends

Personal Website: http://www.zaffman.co.uk/

zaffman writes games. more information will be available when Jeff can think of something funny and original.